Coronary heart disease (CHD)is the UK’s biggest killer, resulting in around 82,000 deaths each year, according to the NHS. But, if steps are taken to follow a healthy diet, take regular exercise and take good quality supplements, we can reduce our risk of developing this serious condition. In this article we will focus on some supplements that are beneficial for heart health.
This multi-functional proteolytic enzyme is derived from silkworms, and works by dissolving non-living tissues such as plaque, blood clots, cysts and inflammation in all forms – without harming living tissue. The German physician, Dr Hans Nieper, reportedly used Serrapeptase with great success in helping his patients with heart disease and arterial blockages.
This potent anti-clotting enzyme is extracted from the traditional Japanese soy food ‘natto’. Nattokinase breaks down fibrin, a protein involved in blood clotting. In the heart, blood clots cause a blockage in the flow of blood to the muscle tissue which can lead to the oxygen supply to that tissue being cut off, resulting in angina and heart attacks. Clots in the chambers of the heart can move to the brain where they can also block blood and oxygen from reaching necessary areas, resulting in a stroke.
This important mineral plays a key role in the prevention of cardiovascular disease.
It protects against angina by preventing the coronary arteries from having spasms. It also regulates heart rhythm by co- ordinating the activity of the heart muscle and the nerves that initiate the heartbeat and it controls high blood pressure by relaxing the muscles that control the blood vessels and enabling the blood to flow more freely.
Enzymes are crucial to all of the body’s physiological processes. A deficiency in digestive enzymes reduces the availability of the body’s metabolic enzymes. Metabolic enzymes help to combat chronic inflammation which, if left untreated, can lead to serious problems such as cardiovascular disease and even cancer. These enzymes help to reduce inflammation in the body by breaking down foreign proteins in the blood which cause inflammation and ensuring they are removed from your system through the blood stream and lymphatic system. Metabolic enzymes also help to remove fibrin, the clotting material mentioned above, which can prolong inflammation.1
These cherries are rich natural sources of vitamins A and C as well as an excellent source of powerful antioxidants, protein and natural salts such as iron, phosphorous and calcium. Vitamin C in particular helps reduce your risk of stroke and can help improve blood vessel relaxation if you suffer from cardiovascular disease. Research has shown that the anthocyanins in cherries suppress pain caused by inflammation. They also help to lower cholesterol and prevent build-ups of plaque in the arteries. Many phenolic compounds in cherries also lower blood lipid levels and offer protection against heart disease and stroke.
A number of clinical trials have shown that Pycnogenol, an extract from French Maritime Pine bark, offers various health benefits for the cardiovascular system. It has been shown to reduce high blood pressure, reduce platelet activity andcexerts beneficial actions on blood lipid profile. In one particular study, Swiss researchers noted significant improvements in the function of the endothelial cells as well as improved blood flow in patients with cardiovascular disease after eight weeks’ supplementation with 200mg of Pycnogenol.2
Amla, also known as the Indian gooseberry, has been shown to reduce cholesterol and keep heart disease in check. Amla is known for its ability to control the oxidation of LDL (low density lipoprotein). The oxidation of LDL releases free radicals which cause coronary artery disease, so controlling this process is vital for the prevention of heart disease. Amla also prevents arthrosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) thus offering further protection against heart disease.
OLIVE LEAF EXTRACTS
Studies show that olive leaf extracts offer a number of benefits for heart health, ranging from the ability to lower blood pressure3 to fighting atherosclerosis. Like amla they help prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol – an early sign of atherosclerosis. They also increase the production of nitric oxide which helps with the dilation of blood vessels. And they curtail the activity of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), which make the linings of the blood vessels more vulnerable to plaque damage.
Grapeseed extract has been found to help reduce LDL cholesterol4 and also protects against atherosclerosis.5 Through a process of gene transcription it helps to turn on the enzyme nitric oxide synthase, which in turn produces nitric oxide. This helps the blood vessels to relax in order for the blood to flow more easily. Grapeseed extract can also help to reduce inflammation and boosts the antioxidant activity in heart cells, thus protecting them from free radical- induced death.
Policosanol is a chemical obtained from sugar cane and other sources. It is used as a dietary supplement and can reportedly help to lower cholesterol by inhibiting cholesterol formation in the liver. It is also said to help break down LDL (low- density lipoprotein or “bad”) cholesterol. Policosanol also helps to decrease the stickiness of platelets, which might help to reduce blood clots.
This product contains a careful blend of powerful enzymes such as Serrapeptase and Nattokinase, plus digestive enzymes, antioxidants and proanthocyanidins such as grape seed extract and Pycnogenol® now in a delayed release capsule.
Ancient Minerals Magnesium Oil contains only raw, highly concentrated, ultra-pure magnesium chloride and other trace minerals drawn from the Ancient Zechstein Seabed in Northern Europe.
1. The type of food that will slow nearly every inflammatory disease. www.mercola.com
2. Enseleit F, Sudano I, Periat D, Winnik S et al. (2012) Effects of Pycnogenol on endothelial function in patients with stable coronary artery disease: a double-blind, randomized, placebo- controlled, cross-over study. European Heart Journal.33(13):1589-97.
3. Cherif S, Rahal N, Haouala M, et al. (1996) A clinical trial of a titrated Olea extract in the treatment of essential arterial hypertension.J Pharm Belg.51(2):69-71.
4. Preuss HG, Wallerstedt D, Talpur N, Tutuncuoglu SO, Echard B, Myers A, Bui M, Bagchi D. GSE and Chromium Help Lower Cholesterol in Humans.J Med.
5. Feng Z,Wei RB,Hong Q,Cui SY,Chen XM. Grape seed extract enhances eNOS expression and
NO production through regulating calcium- mediated AKT phosphorylation in H2O2-treated endothelium. (2010) Cell Biol Int.34(10):1055-61